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2 day ride on the backroads in northern NSW organized through Mal McConnell Suzuki.

6 DR's, 4 DL's, one DRZ and a sacrificial victim on a BMW 800.

Don't have any photos sorry, but the dust probably would have destroyed my camera anyway.

First day Rathdownie ->Tenterfield via the scenic routes - dust - lots of dust.

The DL's did pretty well on the dry roads, not a lot between us and the other bikes here, the only place that gave the DL's grief was a section of dry clay with 1cm 4WD tracks pressed into it and covered with dust, speed was still pretty good, but ot was a lot more nervous on the DL's.

Damage on day 1, 1 BMW 800 with a big smiley face on the front rim, and one formerly showroom shiny DL 650 and rider. "It's just panel damage, it'll buff out" - sore shoulder and hip for the rider. This was a shit happens spill, 100m from where everyone stopped and he ground looped it on the last corner, the DL sent up a dust cloud for help. (Engine was running and the rear was spitting up dirt like crazy). Sorry Jeff, I think you screwed up there ;)

The dust was really really bad for everyone but the guy at the front. *cough* *cough* *spit*

3 attempts on my life that day, didn't quite manage to stoppie the Wee dodging a roo, but real close, another roo that bounced about 3 m ahead, and a couple of black sheep. (Covered with soot from a burn) running across in from of me.

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Rain overnight - quite heavy

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Next day, the BMW rider heads home on the seal, the rest of us head for Drake via the Rocky river road.

The DL's are out of their depth on the wet sand and clay road, easy early on, mainly sand and the water has made the surface amazingly good - but the sand thins and the clay appears more often, bad rain gutters don't help. The DL's finally concede defeat, drop to the rear and slow the 'uck down. I don't know how the others did it, I had a TKC-80 on front and was having 'fun' far too often - no spills, but that was only because the front knobs meant I could drag myself back upright.

Another DL with damage, though this time no visible rider damage other than a small tear on the knee of his riding gear and some damaged side cases. No idea how many or if any DR's kissed dirt, the damned things are so quick to pick up that it's not as obvious as a DL.

Apparently there was another attempt on my life, one I missed seeing, a roo leapt a fence and tried to crash tackle me, but went over the back of the bike instead.

We send the DR's/DRZ ahead at this point but the the roads were drying fast and we were only loosing a little time between stops to regroup with no more spills.

Drake, and lunch, the DL riders decide we'll avoid humiliating the DR riders any more (yeah right :) ), and we split up, the DR's going straight over the hills to Casino (more mud expected) and the DL's will take "mostly seal" home. A nice 40k's 'mostly dirt' detour around Casino is very welcome - no dust and hard packed dirt roads.

I'm made to pay for having the front knobs on the dirt by following a maniac on a DL with decent tires both ends - one of the nice things about TKC-80's is that they start 'walking' sideways before they let go (on dry seal) so I at least knew when I was close to the edge.

We gradually split up and head from home, final run through the Lions road - "watch out for the weekend warriors in 4WD's and for the cows" yupyupyup.

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Quick summary, DR's and DRZ's are a lot better on dirt than DL's :), well yeah, but again, the DL's could deal with the conditions - we just had to slow the 'uck down when it got nasty. I was probably the slowest bike there despite the good tire up front - some of those riders were amazingly good - but again, I didn't have a lie down either ;)

BMW F800 rims are made of cheese - most of us hit the same culvert at the same speed, no damage.

There are few feelings finer than the one you get from riding past a large pack of (shiny/showroom) 1200GS's on a dirt covered and almost unrecognisable DL 650. (POSERS !)

The dirt covered DL also got me a wave through (and a big grin from a cop) on a mass RBT outside Canungra.

It was fun :), and special thanks to Ross, who lead the ride.

Cheers
Pete
 

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and i was going to do that ride in Scorpian:yikes: i would have wrap up the back, i suppose. sounds like u guys have fun !!! what precisely did u guys hit and what speed which cause the BM to bent its rims?
 

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I had a DR250 and Hubby a DR350 a few years back, loved them, but getting to dangerous to ride in the bush (to many idiots in 4WDs) so they were sold.
If I was going to buy another dirt bike I would love another DR350. I use to pinch hubbys if my bike wasn't working :)
 

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Sounds like a good ride, I would of loved to come but am still healing from Mal's last ride :yikes: recon he is trying to increase sales in his parts department :biggrinjester:

Went for my first ride on the DL yesterday (still with broken leg) just around the property. One more week and I should be officially be able to walk again.

See you all on the next one :thumbup:
 

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Tx for posting the RR, Pete (posted link on FB HERE). I was wondering how it went. Too bad no photos.

I've added your comment about the F800 soft rims to THIS THREAD (VStrom in the APC Rally)

Compass Expeditions report similar problems with the F650S.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #7
and i was going to do that ride in Scorpian:yikes: i would have wrap up the back, i suppose. sounds like u guys have fun !!! what precisely did u guys hit and what speed which cause the BM to bent its rims?
You would have made it.

The sweep rider on the first day was on the F800, he's 60 and doesn't like riding fast so he's happy to potter along at the rear.

Oldest rider was 66, on a DR650. Found it physically tough but the actual riding wasn't a problem.

We had a lot of pretty skilled riders this trip with me probably being the worst of the bunch, from memory at least two of the DL riders had been competitive MX riders at one point and the one I'm not sure raced MX had 5 bikes at home and was very fast. All of those guys had road orientated tires on, and in the dry they were fine.

We didn't have fixed schedules, just a lead rider who knew the back roads well.

So - with less experienced riders on DL's along, I would have just stayed at the back in front of the sweep rider and let you set the pace you were comfortable with. The first day wouldn't have been a problem - riding alone I'd have been running 20kph slower anyway.

Next day, given the rain, anyone who was worried would either have gone via seal to Drake, or back with the F800 and just made a nice road ride of it. I considered doing that anyway.

The thing that took out the F800 rim was a typical rural Oz obstacle - I'm not 100% certain, but I think it was a cattle stop with a long pothole about 300mm wide and 100mm deep all along the front - wasn't sharp edged concrete, there was dirt at the front and a ramp but the big bikes hit it pretty hard. A 21" front wheel and a light bike makes a big difference. We crossed a lot of cattle stops and concrete bottomed creek beds over the two days.

One of the reason I was running the TKC-80 up front was so I could run 33F 36R - the bike feels a lot better with lower pressures, but the odds of rim damage go up. The other DL's were running around 28 - so overall it was pretty even for grip in the dry - my bike skated around a bit more, but the front was a bit more stable.
In the mud though, the TKC-80 was a clear winner.

Interesting looking at the tire tracks - the faster DR's had very narrow tires on and actually cut up the surface - the tracks from the DL's were just faint marks on the road surface in comparison.

Pete
 
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